Published by Scribo Books / ISBN 9789008177483

This is the first volume of a series set in Rome in July AD 79 – Lucius’ father has been accused of treason and as a result of his disappearance his family’s circumstances have changed drastically. His brother has started training as a gladiator and life at home is becoming more and more difficult. Lucius has a small job at the gladiator school where his brother trains, really running messages and clearing up after the fights and after the gladiators, earning a little money. He believes his father to be innocent and amongst the turmoil of his new life tries to find out what happened to him. The book is full of drama and details about ancient Rome and the life of gladiators, including details of type of gladiator and how they fought. The slightly cartoon cover belies how good and detailed these books are – and could well be overlooked as a consequence. Definitely a series to be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in ancient Rome and history as well as a good strong story. Superb.

The other titles in the series are: Vol 2 Blood and Fire / Vol 3 Blood and Sand / Vol 4 Blood Vengeance / Vol 5 Blood and Thunder